Spreading Awareness and Hope in the Fight to #StopSuicide

AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by sharing lifesaving information and generating important conversations through our campaigns and messaging throughout the year.

From social media, traditional journalism, television and film and beyond, AFSP raises awareness to let people in communities everywhere know we all have a role to play in keeping ourselves and those in our communities safe.

5.5K followers gained in
May across all social
media channels

Mental Health Awareness Month

In May, for Mental Health Awareness Month, we sent the message that no one’s mental health is fully supported until everyone’s mental health is fully supported. That’s why for our #MentalHealth4All campaign, we asked people to take one simple action to encourage their friends, family, and community to take their own and others’ mental health seriously.

For some, it meant reaching out to someone on a personal basis. For others, it meant advocating for legislation that addresses the disparity in mental healthcare access for underrepresented communities; joining an Out of the Darkness Walk; or bringing suicide prevention education, research or support programs to their school or workplace. Everyone has different experiences with their own mental health and their own preferred methods of care and support. Our May campaign gave people across the country many ways to support #MentalHealth4All.

Throughout the month, we amplified awareness by creating toolkits to engage our staff, volunteers and partners through email, social media and websites, including social media graphics, fundraising tools for streaming and Facebook, email signatures, profile pictures frames, GIFs and more.

We also partnered with Instagram to host live events featuring our content experts, and in partnership with organizations like The Confess Project and Kripalu.

Other creative partnerships generating exposure throughout May included collaborations with TikTok, Holler, Loop, Snap, Inc., and the Ad Council and GIPHY, which commissioned artists like Grovertoons, Megan Motown and Trap Bob to create conversation starter GIFs and stickers young adults can send to a friend showing comfort and support.

Popular TikTok and Instagram creators including Bryce Xavier, Dani Donovan, GegetheJing, Joyce Wert, Liya Hizkias and Shahem, musical group lovelytheband and musicians Alaina Castillo, Daya, Elle Winter, Jensen McRae and Kat Cunning created original content through our Seize the Awkward campaign to share across their channels throughout the month, reaching an audience of over 7.8 million people.

Identify three self care activities
Take simple action to support your mental health
Get involved with your local AFSP chapter
5.5K followers gained in
May across all social
media channels
10K web page views
Seize the Awkward: Reach out to a friend about their mental health.
653.8K total video views

Seize the Awkward

Since its launch in January 2018, Seize the Awkward has garnered 57 million video views and over 2.2M sessions on SeizeTheAwkward.org, where 16- to 24-year-olds can explore resources and tools to help them start a conversation with a friend around mental health. The campaign is a joint effort with The Jed Foundation (JED) and the Ad Council.

In late August, the STA website relaunched with deeper resources to aid young people and kicked off a September campaign that included guidance from popular Instagram and TikTok influencers Anna Wannquist, Donovan Beck, Jamie Grace, Maleah Whitten, Phillip Vu, Pink Sweat$, Sedona Prince, and Tessa Violet on navigating specific topics like grieving the loss of a loved one and recognizing the signs that a friend may be struggling. The seven videos created by these influencers generated 653.8K total video views, 130.6K likes, and 857 shares. During the month of September, Instagram, Snap Inc., TikTok, and Initiative provided significant exposure for Seize the Awkward on their platforms.

653.8K total video views
130.6K likes 857 shares
16K+ followers gained in September,
pushing our total Instagram
following to over 100K!

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

In a year when many people experienced fear, anxiety, and uncertainty due to COVID-19 and other stressors, it became clearer than ever for many people that mental health is a fundamental aspect of all of our lives. It also became vitally important that we deepen the conversation, to ensure that people feel comfortable and confident being able to talk about suicide if they are ever concerned for themselves or those they care about.

Many people are still afraid that by asking someone if they’re having thoughts of suicide, it will put the idea in the person’s head, or push them to take their lives. (Which research shows is not true.) Some are worried they won’t know what to do, or how to help if the person tells them they are thinking about it.

In September, for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we spread the message that “Together, we can help #StopSuicide.” Our September campaign empowered communities to address this leading cause of death by understanding what leads someone to suicide, the ways we can all help prevent it, available resources – and not being afraid to ask when we’re worried about someone, or for help when we need it, ourselves.

Among many of the ways people could get involved, over 300 volunteer advocates sent over 3,000 “Together, we can help #StopSuicide”-themed Letters to the Editor to media outlets across the country, urging people to take action against this leading cause of death.

Media, celebrities, and other organizations helped amplify our message throughout September, including Pearl Jam, GIPHY, CVS Health, Katie Couric Media, TODAY, BET, Men’s Health and more.

16K+ followers gained in September,
pushing our total Instagram
following to over 100K!
1M+ followers across AFSP National and
Chapter social media accounts

CVS Health Live: Preventing Suicide in Our Communities

AFSP teamed with Aetna/CVS Health for the September panel conversation “CVS Health Live: Preventing Suicide in Our Communities.” The discussion, featuring AFSP’s Vice President of Mission Engagement, Dr. Doreen Marshall, focused on how to start tough but critical conversations that can lead people in need to the right interventions and resources.

Additionally, AFSP partnered with CVS Health for an Instagram Takeover on October 7, 2021. AFSP’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Yu-Moutier answered questions about suicide prevention and mental health. She shared resources on how to identify warning signs of suicide, how to help a loved one who may be at risk, and how individuals can help in their own community.

Together we can help stop suicide.
250K total reach

World Suicide Prevention Day Live

On September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, AFSP hosted an all-day Facebook Live event from 12 pm to 8 pm ET. The event featured over 30 panelists and guests across research, entertainment, advocacy and more. Guests included actor Courtney B. Vance, Dr. Robin L. Smith, singer Normani, Kenneth Cole, Jari Jones, U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, State Rep. Tina Orwall, and Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble of The AAKOMA Project.

As part of our World Suicide Prevention Day Live event, we partnered with Sound Mind to host the panel “Men, Music, and Mental Health,” with guests Cameron Boyer from the band Weathers, Anthony Green and Brendan Ekstrom from Circa Survive, singer/songwriter Ricky Duran, and moderator Chris Bullard, Executive Director of Sound Mind, whose mission is to end the stigma that surrounds mental health and mental illness through the power of music.

The Nonprofits on Facebook page cross-promoted our event, helping to spread the reach of the program to their audience of over 1.1M followers.

250K total reach
126,965 video views 5,923 reactions, comments & shares

Partnering with Audacy

This fall, AFSP grew our national partnership with multi-platform audio content and entertainment company Audacy, helping us reach over 170 million consumers each month through radio, podcasts, news, music and sports. Through our partnership, we created an exclusive Out of the Darkness radio station to play at our walks, along with a Community Walks PSA radio campaign airing on Audacy stations across the country.

Dr. Yu-Moutier appeared as a guest on Audacy’s fifth annual I’m Listening special dedicated to sharing the mental health stories and advice from artists, athletes, and mental health professionals, airing on all Audacy stations and in the Audacy app. Other panelists included Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Doja Cat, Shakira, Justin Bieber, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Jack Antonoff, and more.

AFSP’s CEO Robert Gebbia shared messages of hope and support at Audacy’s We Can Survive concert at Hollywood Bowl in October, with performances by Coldplay, the Black Eyed Peas, Doja Cat, Shawn Mendes, and more. AFSP had an on-site activation with fans featuring the key campaign artwork created by Brooklyn-based artist, Jessica Goldsmith, that was supported by the AFSP LA Chapter, and the Comms team led influencer engagement and a red carpet interview with Robert Gebbia. AFSP was named as the sole beneficiary and raised more than $800K.

Self-Care Is For Everyone

AFSP partnered with Self-Care Is For Everyone on a collection of mental-health themed t-shirts and apparel, with 100% of net profits benefiting AFSP raising more than $3,687.

In addition to the popular “Together We Can Help Stop Suicide” collection, we also co-created educational social content to help spread suicide prevention and mental health best practices, culminating in an Instagram Guide launch on World Mental Health Day.

Media & Entertainment

AFSP has provided advice on over a dozen upcoming TV, film, and other creative projects since December 2020, for entertainment platforms including Netflix, HBO, Comedy Central, Hulu, United Artists, Viacom/CBS, NBC/Universal, NPR Marketplace, and This American Life.

Our in-depth analysis – happening at various stages, from the earliest conception of a new series or film, to early script drafts, and rough cuts of footage – allows us to work behind the scenes with content creators to encourage safety when storylines involve suicide and raise awareness and understanding of mental health for a large audience through the power of storytelling.

This past year we expanded on our 5-star partnership with Netflix and delivered a special presentation, ”Mental Health, Suicide and Storytelling: Making Entertainment Responsibly” for Netflix’s internal audience of content creators, marketing execs and leadership, through Netflix’s Inclusion Institute Initiative.

We also established new formal partnerships with WarnerMedia, Viacom/CBS and NBC/Universal to work with content creators, in addition to collaborating on a Mental Health Media Guide as part of the Better Together: Mental Health Story Summit with Viacom/CBS.


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention acknowledges that systemic racism and historical barriers and inequities have left particular ethnic, racial and minoritized populations facing trauma, loss, bias, social disparities and other unique challenges that have gone unsupported and largely unaddressed. We at AFSP are committed to rectifying this by working with diverse communities, organizations and policy makers to ensure that mental health resources that are culturally relevant are equitably available across the nation.

45K views of our
Elevating Voices
series since last July

As part of AFSP’s strategic 3-year plan, we are committed to:

Improving Cultural Competency and Organizational Diversity and Inclusion Practices by expanding on our recruitment policies to increase diversity on our National and Chapter boards to better reflect the communities we serve, and implementing a cultural competency training curriculum for our staff

Building Partnerships and Program Implementation through key relationships with external experts and organizations, and by creating a Diversity Programs Taskforce to ensure our educational programs are both culturally informed and evidence-based

Stimulating and Funding Research Related to Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups through a Priority Focus Area for suicide research related to underrepresented communities, health and mental health disparities and inequities, as well as researchers from underrepresented groups

Elevating the Voices in Our Field with Expertise in Diverse Communities by convening leading experts in mental health and suicide prevention from diverse communities through our Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change Virtual Town Hall Series, which takes a closer look at mental health and suicide prevention in underrepresented communities, and improves public understanding of their range of experiences

Let people in your life know you're a safe person to tallk to about mental health...'
Cuando se trata de salud mental, todas las personas experinmentan un proceso unico
World Suicide Prevention Day
45K views of our
Elevating Voices
series since last July

Volunteer spotlight

The suicide of a loved one is forever etched within you. I do not wish for anyone to experience the pain my family endured. I do not wish for anyone to feel they have no one to talk to.

Jennifer Johnson
Michigan Chapter

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